2023-2024 College Catalog

French, Bachelor of Arts

Department Chair:

Mark Wolff


Mark Wolff

Adjunct Faculty:

International Francophone Adjunct




To learn a new language is to open a door to the ideas and insights of another culture and to fresh insights into one’s own language and culture. Hartwick’s French program, offered through the Department of Modern Languages, introduces students to the rich Francophone world through courses in language, literature and culture. More than 220 million people speak French in the world: it is the second most widely learned foreign language after English, and it is used widely in commerce, the arts, and international affairs. Whether students pursue courses in French as part of their liberal arts education or complete a major or a minor program in the language, they gain a breadth of perspective and useful skills that will prove valuable in the coming years. The French major at Hartwick is designed to develop fluency in both oral and written language communication as well as broaden each student’s global perspective through a critical understanding of multiculturalism in Francophone countries. In addition to the variety of language, culture, and literature courses offered on the Hartwick campus, the program offers the benefits of practical experience through internships and partnerships with global organizations.

A traditional minor in French is a valuable complement to any major and an important skill in many careers and fields. A student interested in completing a minor in French is encouraged to consult with faculty in order to pursue a program that best suits their interests and career goals. Students majoring and minoring in French are encouraged to broaden their understanding in the field by taking related courses in other disciplines.

Students who have never studied French should register for FREN 101 Beginning French; FREN 101, FREN 102, FREN 201 and FREN 202 constitute the introductory sequence. After consulting with the French staff, students may enroll in any French course for which they are qualified.

Students who wish to pursue an in-depth study in French may major solely in French or combine it with a second major in another discipline. French majors may also earn teacher certification in the language. Requirements for the major as well as the minor in French are designed to ensure that students receive a balanced program of courses in language, culture and civilization, and literature. Course choices within these areas offer students the flexibility to tailor their studies to their interests and career plans.

Because study abroad enhances and reinforces classroom learning, allowing students to use their language skills and experience the culture firsthand, the French faculty strongly recommends that all students majoring or minoring in the language participate in at least one study-abroad program. The department conducts a January Term program in France at least every other year; students may also enroll in affiliated study-abroad programs administered by other organizations.

Language graduates are prepared for a range of career opportunities in a variety of fields, as well as for graduate and professional study. Recent Hartwick graduates with a major in French are employed in careers in banking, teaching, international relations, import-export business, government, travel, and translation.